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The Aurora Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in obtaining information about an active sexual assault on a juvenile investigation.  On March 24, 2022 at approximately 8:00 P.M., a concerning incident occurred at the Aurora Sports Park located at 19300 E. Colfax Ave.  The incident was reported to police a few days later on March 29, 2022 and detectives from the Crimes Against Children Unit immediately began investigating the incident once reported.  During this incident, it is alleged that an adult male suspect had inappropriate sexual contact with a juvenile in a public restroom.  The suspect is described as being a light skinned black male, with a thin build, approximately 5’9” in height, with short hair. He is reported to have a forearm tattoo that states either “Thug Life” or “Young Life.”  Since reported, this has been an active investigation and therefore further specific details cannot be released at this time.  During the investigation, detectives learned that a similar incident occurred in November of 2021, but this incident was never reported to police. 

The Aurora Police Department asks persons to remain vigilant for suspicious activity in the area of the Aurora Sports Park.  Anyone who has information about these incidents or the identity of the suspect is urged to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers by calling 720.913.7867. By using Crime Stoppers, tipsters can remain anonymous and are eligible for a rewards of up to $2,000. 

Map of area of crime
Aerial view of the location of the crime

Tips for parents on keeping your children safe from abuse.

Lieutenant Chris Amsler
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by [email protected]  On Apr 08, 2022 at 5:32 PM
  
Teen Talk. Photo of teens laughing together.
 
Hey teens, let’s talk! J

I'm Taylor, one of the Youth Services librarians at Aurora Central Library.  

Cartoon Taylor  
 
Each month at the Aurora Public Library, I cover a variety of topics for teens. This month’s blog is all about sexual health.
  
Swing by the Aurora Central Library's teen area to browse books, resources and activities related to the monthly topic. 

Text: Let's talk about sex. Pop art style of two people with hand cupped around mouth, like shouting.

April is STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) Awareness Month! I didn’t know this, but it seems so fitting given that this month’s blog post is all about sexual health. Let me begin by saying sexual health is not only about preventing STDs  it encompasses a whole range of topics related to your changing body, sexual relationships and overall health. 

Some of the things you will read in this blog post may be new to you, lead you to feel uncomfortable or awkward and have you asking more questions than you did before — and that is all okay! It’s normal. You are not alone in your feelings. This is a safe space. 

Real talk: Growing up I did not have access to a lot of information regarding my sexual health. This left me feeling a sense of personal shame, confused and even stupid at times. It also affected my physical health, leading to a handful of STDs as well as an unplanned pregnancy. I hope this blog post will help you feel more informed regarding your health as well as capable of having a conversation with a trusted adult if you need more information and questions answered. 

Graphic that reads Your Sexual Health Matters 

•  KidsHealth.org has one of the most comprehensive lists I’ve seen regarding adolescent and teen sexual health. I’d highly recommend exploring this page to get some of your (potentially embarrassing) questions answered.

Sex, etc. has a sex ed dictionary with almost 400 words you need to know. - https://sexetc.org/sex-ed/sex-terms/

Puberty
Puberty is a time of emotional and physical change. You can feel out of control and confused at what is happening inside of you. However uncomfortable, awkward and scary it may be these feelings will not last forever and are all part of normal growth and development.

Graphic of what happens during puberty
 
Resources about Puberty
· Puberty Topics (Videos)
· Everything You Wanted to Know About Puberty
· Puberty & Development Information
· Puberty 101

Masturbation
"What is it about masturbation that provokes such negative reactions from so many people? Shame, silence and stigma are common adult reactions to the topic.

Yet, the topic of masturbation is consistently mentioned in all the groups of students with whom I’ve worked. Students often ask if it is okay. Silence from adults communicates stigma to our young people: masturbation is shameful and taboo. So, young people learn not to talk about it. They hide their questions and behavior from the adults who love and care for them. Our children develop unhealthy attitudes about the ways their bodies work and feel during puberty.

[I]t is normal if someone does masturbate, and it is also normal if someone does not masturbate. Whether or not a person masturbates is an individual choice” (Wendy Sellers, 2016).

Masturbation: Totally Normal (Video)


Healthy Relationships 
Graphic listing healthy signs and warning signs for relationships

· Healthy Relationships 
· 6 Simple Ways to Understand Consent (Video)
· Consent: What Does it Mean?
· How to Tell Your Partner What You’re Ready (or Not Ready) for Sexually


STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)
STDs come with a lot of stigma and shame… Why? Despite what you may think, more people have had an STD at some point in their life than not. 

While a handful of STDs are not a big deal if treated (usually just an antibiotic for a couple weeks), if left untreated they can severely impact your life. That is why it is important to get tested regularly if you are sexually active and communicate with any sexual partners you have.

· Free, Safe, & Confidential Testing
· Do You Have an STD? You're Not the Only One
· How To Tell Someone That You Have an STD or STI
· 10 Signs You May Have an STD or STI
· How Do Teen Couples Talk About STDs?


Pregnancy
Unplanned pregnancy can be scary and overwhelming. There are three options: raising the child, having an abortion or placing the child for adoption. It is important remember that there is no “right” option, each one is a choice — a hard one, but still yours to make. 
· Pregnant?
· Experiencing an Unplanned Pregnancy? You have options.
· The Adoption Option
· Birth Mothers Share What They Want Adoptive Parents to Know


Birth Control
 Chart showing how well various forms of birth control work
What’s the Best Birth Control for Teens?

***The most effective way to prevent pregnancy and STDs is by practicing abstinence -- meaning not having sex or any intimate genital contact (including anal sex or oral sex).***

Explore books & eContent regarding sexual health: 

 
Check back next month for our next Teen Talk!  

Come join me every Thursday at 4 p.m. for our weekly Teen Hang at Aurora Central Library. I'd love to meet you and hear about what topics you’d like featured.  
 

Taylor's signature
-Taylor (she/her)


Posted by [email protected]  On Apr 05, 2022 at 9:33 AM
  
(April 3) The Aurora Police Department Traffic Section is investigating a fatal crash that occurred on South Buckley Road leaving one pedestrian dead.

On April 3, 2022 at about 9:37 p.m., it is believed that at least one vehicle traveling north on South Buckley Road at East Exposition Drive struck an adult male pedestrian who was walking westbound across South Buckley Road. Additionally, a different vehicle also travelling north on South Buckley Road, later struck the pedestrian. The driver of that vehicle remained on scene and no drugs or alcohol is suspected to be contributing factors.

The victim was tragically pronounced at the scene, the Arapahoe County Coroner will release the victim's name after positive identification and notification of next-of-kin.

Anyone who was driving in the area of South Buckley Road near East Exposition Drive or who witnessed this fatal accident or has any information, including dash camera footage is urged to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers by calling 720.913.7867. By using Crime Stoppers, tipsters can remain anonymous and are eligible for a rewards of up to $2,000. 

Officer Elizabeth McGregor
Public information Officer
Media Relations Unit 
720.432.5095

Posted by [email protected]  On Apr 04, 2022 at 10:18 AM
  
(March 30) The Aurora Police Major Crimes Homicide Unit is investigating after a woman was shot and killed.

On March 30, 2022 at about 12:50 a.m., the Aurora Police Department responded to the parking lot of 9796 East Mexico Avenue, on reports of multiple shots fired in the area. Upon officers' arrival, they located an adult woman suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Tragically, the woman was pronounced deceased on the scene. 

Detectives from the department's Major Crimes Homicide Unit responded to the scene and are responsible for this investigation. At this early stage in the investigation, the facts and circumstances that led up to this death, to include suspect descriptions, are still being determined.

The Arapahoe County Coroner's Office  will release the victim's name after positive identification and notification of next-of-kin.

Anyone who witnessed this shooting or has information about this homicide is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720.913.7867. By using Crime Stoppers, tipsters can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

Officer Elizabeth McGregor 
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit 
720.432.5095 
Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 30, 2022 at 5:43 AM
  
(March 29) The Aurora Police Major Crimes Homicide Unit is investigating after a woman was shot and killed and another woman left in critical condition.

On March 29, 2022 at about 5:10 a.m., the Aurora Police Department responded to the parking lot of 11895 East Archer Place, on a welfare check. Upon officers' arrival, they located two women suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Tragically, one woman was pronounced deceased on the scene and the second was transported to a local hospital in critical condition.

Detectives from the department's Major Crimes Homicide Unit responded to the scene and were responsible for this investigation. At this early stage in the investigation, the facts and circumstances that led up to this death, to include suspect descriptions, are still being determined.

The Arapahoe County Coroner's Office will release the victim's name after positive identification and notification of next-of-kin.

Anyone who witnessed this shooting or has information about this homicide is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720.913.7867. By using Crime Stoppers, tipsters can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

Officer Elizabeth McGregor 
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit 
720.432.5095 

Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 29, 2022 at 9:11 AM
  

(March 28) ARREST MADE

Following up on investigative leads, The Major Crimes Homicide Unit made an arrest earlier today in Denver. The suspect, who is the brother of the deceased victim, has been identified as Jimmy Lee Churchill. He was arrested for 1st Degree Murder and Possession of a Weapon by a Previous Offender. Investigators believe that the two brothers were involved in a verbal altercation in the motel room before the shooting occurred. Churchill is currently being held at the Aurora Detention Center on a no bond hold.

Jimmy Churchill
Jimmy Churchill DOB 12/18/1988

Officer Elizabeth McGregor 
Public Information Officer 
Media Relations Unit 
720.432.5095

Information previously released on March 28, 2022

(March 28) The Aurora Police Major Crimes Homicide Unit is investigating after a man was shot and killed. 

On March 28, 2022 at about 4:22 a.m., the Aurora Police Department responded to the Radiant Inn, located at 10950 East Colfax Ave, on a report of a shooting inside one of the rooms. Upon officers’ arrival, they located a 47-year-old man suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Tragically the man was pronounced deceased on the scene.

Detectives from the department's Major Crimes Homicide Unit responded to the scene and were responsible for this investigation. At this early stage in the investigation, the facts and circumstances that led up to this death, to include suspect descriptions, are still being determined.

The Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office will release the victim’s name after positive identification and notification of next-of-kin.

Anyone who witnessed this shooting or has information about this homicide is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720.913.7867. By using Crime Stoppers, tipsters can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

Officer Elizabeth McGregor
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 28, 2022 at 4:53 PM
  
(March 25) The Aurora Police Major Crimes Homicide Unit is investigating after a person was found dead in a field in northeast Aurora.

On March 25, 2022, about 7:15 a.m., the Aurora Police Department responded to the area of East 56th Avenue near E470 on reports of a down party. Officers located a person lying in the field just off the roadway. This person was pronounced deceased on the scene.

Detectives from the department's Major Crimes Homicide Unit responded to the scene and will be responsible for this investigation. At this early stage in the investigation, the facts and circumstances that led up to this death, to include suspect information, are still to be determined.

The Major Crimes Homicide Unit is asking for anyone who was traveling last night along East 56th Avenue, between E470 and Picadilly Road, and observed anything suspicious, to please call Detective Jonsgaard at 303-739-6127 or Sergeant Longnecker at 303-739-6041. Tipsters can also report anything suspicious to Metro Denver Crime Stoppers by calling 720.913.7867 and be eligible for a reward of up-to $2,000. 

The Adams County Coroner's Office will release the victim's name after positive identification and notification of next-of-kin.

Agent Matthew Longshore
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 25, 2022 at 4:04 PM
  
(March 18) The Aurora Police Traffic Section is investigating after two pedestrians struck and killed on East Colfax Avenue.

On Friday, March 18, 2022, at about 7:50 p.m., Aurora Police responded a crash involving multiple pedestrians near the intersection of East Colfax Avenue and North Uvalda Street.

The preliminary investigation has revealed that a man was crossing East Colfax Avenue and was not utilizing a crosswalk. This man was struck by a Mitsubishi sedan traveling westbound on East Colfax Avenue. Immediately after this collision, the driver of the Mitsubishi pulled over to render aid. After that driver exited his vehicle, he was then struck by a separate vehicle, a Mercury Mountaineer, also traveling westbound on East Colfax Avenue. That Mercury then immediately pulled over and remained on scene.

The first pedestrian was pronounced deceased on scene. The second pedestrian, the driver of the Mitsubishi, was transported to the hospital and pronounced deceased a short time later. Investigators do not believe that speed or alcohol were contributing factors for either driver.

The identifications of both men will be released by the Adams County Coroner’s Office once they have been positively identified and their next-of-kin have been notified.

We ask anyone who may have witnessed this crash or has dash-camera footage of the crash, and has not yet spoken to police, to contact the Aurora Police Traffic Section.

Agent Matthew Longshore
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 18, 2022 at 11:29 PM
  
(March 17) On Friday, August 6, 2021, the Aurora Police Department received a report pertaining to allegations of child exploitation involving Darnell Ward (DOB: 02/21/1978). The investigation confirmed the allegations of the original victim and investigators learned of two other additional victims.

The investigation determined that Ward occasionally was a parent spectator at Overland High School girls’ basketball games and would help record scores for the game. However, he was not an official volunteer. It is believed Ward also has helped with sporting events in the Denver Metro area schools. Based on Ward’s history and past allegations, Investigators believe there are additional victims who have been victimized by Ward and have not yet reported it.

On Wednesday, March 9, 2022, Ward was arrested for charges related to Child Exploitation and Sexual Assault in Phoenix, Arizona. Since his arrest, Ward has been extradited to Colorado. The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office will be prosecuting this case, and any additional media inquiries should be directed there.

Our Victim Services Unit is working closely with the families to offer support and help them work through this difficult event.

If there are any additional victims who are wishing to report to the police, they are asked to call Police Dispatch at (303) 627-3100 immediately. Anyone with additional information about this incident is encouraged to call the Internet Crimes Against Children at 303.739.6711.

Ward is pictured below: 

Suspect Photo

Officer Francisco Saucedo
Public Information Officer 
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 17, 2022 at 11:12 AM
  
(March 10, 2022) The Aurora Police Department has made four arrests in connection to a shooting that occurred on Wednesday Night at the Quality Inn.

Shortly after the initial shooting call, Aurora911 received a report of another person shot at North Chambers Road and East Smith Road. Officers from the Aurora Police Gang Intervention Unit contacted three juvenile males and one 18-year-old male. They discovered that the adult male was suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Officers were quickly able to determine that all the subjects had been involved in the shooting and took them into custody. The adult male was taken into custody this afternoon after he was released from the hospital. All four of the subjects have been arrested for 1st Degree Murder.  Due to their ages Aurora Police will not be releasing the names or booking photos of the juveniles. The adult who was arrested is Rafael Bergeron Martinez of Westminster. 

Detectives are still looking for witnesses and other people who may have been involved in the altercation that lead up to this shooting.  Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720.913.7867.

“I want to highlight the exceptional teamwork that these arrests represent. Our officers and detectives from patrol, the Gang Unit and the Major Crimes Homicide Unit worked quickly to apprehend these violent criminals.” 
--Vanessa Wilson, Chief of Police

“Last night, our community was, once again, shaken by the news of gun violence involving young people. A 16-year-old is dead, and several others are hurt as a result of this mass shooting. This is yet another horrific case of a teen losing their life because too many young people have easy and unsupervised access to firearms. Parents and trusted adults, please talk with teens about whether they have a gun. Gun owners, sales of guns spiked during COVID and we are seeing many guns being stolen out of vehicles or other unsecure locations that end up in the hands of teenagers. Please secure your guns properly so you can ensure that there is one less gun out on the street.”
--District Attorney Brian Mason, 17th Judicial District (Adams and Broomfield Counties)

Rafael Martinez
Rafael Bergeron Martinez, DOB: 12/08/2003

Lieutenant Chris Amsler
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095


Information previously released on March 10, 2022:

(March 10) The Aurora Police Major Crimes Homicide Unit is investigating after a juvenile was shot and killed. Two other adult females were transported to the hospital, and a fourth victim self-transported to the hospital.

On March 9, 2022, about 07:05 p.m., the Aurora Police Department responded to the Quality Inn, located at 3300 N Ouray Street, on a report of a shooting inside the hotel, near the pool. Upon officers' arrival, they located a 16-year-old male juvenile suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Tragically, the juvenile was pronounced deceased on the scene.

Shortly after the shooting, officers located a 20-year-old and a 19-year-old adult female suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Both females were transported to a local hospital in serious condition. The suspects left the scene prior to officers' arrival.

At approximately 07:39 p.m., officers were advised that a fourth victim, of unknown age, had self-transported to the hospital suffering from an apparent gunshot wound and expected to survive.

Detectives from the department's Major Crimes Homicide Unit responded to the scene and were responsible for this investigation. At this early stage in the investigation, the facts and circumstances that led up to this death, to include suspect descriptions, are still being determined.

The Adams County Coroner's Office will release the victim's name after positive identification and notification of next-of-kin.

Anyone who witnessed this shooting or has information about this homicide is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720.913.7867. By using Crime Stoppers, tipsters can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

This is Aurora's seventh homicide of 2022.

Officer Francisco Saucedo
Public Information Officer 
Media Relations Unit 
720.432.5095
Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 10, 2022 at 4:27 PM
  
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